Without a doubt, the internet has made online retail shopping simple and more seamless than ever before. People can buy stuff anytime or anywhere they want as long as they have a device on hand. To ensure smooth payment transactions, online retailers work with financial institutions to learn CBDC and stablecoin deployment in handling purchases that use digital currencies.
But simplicity also comes with bigger challenges, which can greatly compromise your overall safety and security. This article will talk about ways to avoid online shopping scams and ensure a hassle-free online shopping experience.
Avoid ‘too good to be true’ product deals
Everything in the world comes at a price. If a certain product looks cheaper than it seems to be, then something might be wrong. But this can be possible if there’s a big sale or a major offer going on.
Remember, any item that looks so good in the pictures but comes with an incredibly low price is a reasonable cause for suspicion. For instance, an online shopping site is featuring an ad for a holiday calendar with a listed price of $59.99 but is currently being sold for a promo price of $29.99. At first, you might think you’ll be getting a big discount, but make sure to investigate first.
If the retailer hasn’t established a reputation and isn’t popular with buyers, give yourself a favor and walk away because this is how scammers catch buyers’ attention. You can find this out by checking out if the product photo doesn’t seem to belong to the seller, or the feedback section includes negative comments from buyers who received a counterfeit or low-quality item.
Another technique is listing popular items for a discounted price only to lure customers to get their personal details and payment information. Always verify the site URL for broken or malicious links and make sure the checkout process is secure before finalizing a purchase.
Don’t use your debit card
When it comes to online shopping, credit cards have stronger security than debit cards. Most payment cards today come with an EMV chip technology, a security feature that makes it hard for fraudsters to acquire the card holder’s information.
Also, credit cards aren’t linked directly to bank accounts, unlike debit cards. If someone stole your card information, they can easily access your account since your money is already tied to your debit card. Meanwhile, credit cards provide more consumer security because of fraud protection.
For extra measure, avoid saving your card information in any web browser. Saving your card details in your browser means allowing any person who has access to your personal device can make unauthorized purchases with your card just as easily as you can. This can get even worse if you lost your card, and a cybercriminal hacks your device.
Although saving card information may seem easy and convenient, there’s always a risk involved in terms of cyber security. Devoting a few seconds to manually enter your card information is worth the effort than sacrificing your savings and cyber security.
If you decide to use your credit card for online purchases, make it a habit to check your credit card statements regularly to make sure you aren’t being scammed. Visit the website of your bank or credit card company and check your electronic statements to monitor your recent purchases and the amount you’re spending.
Shop with legitimate sites
Watch out for suspicious operators running fake shopping websites designed to victimize unsuspecting and excited online shoppers. Whether an online site is new or popular, it’s important to think before you click instead of simply allowing hackers to steal your cash.
Avoid visiting online stores advertised on social media or a shoppable post or link you received in a random email. Once you’re done with your investigation, you can check people’s comments and feedback on the store’s website and social media to find out what customers say about them.
Shopping online isn’t that completely different when buying from a brick-and-mortar store you’re familiar with. If you want to minimize the risk of getting scammed online, stick to stores that are trustworthy and legitimate, especially for big purchases, such as gadgets, gift cards, and electronics. Still, you have to be aware that there are online sites that exactly imitate legitimate sellers.
Shopping online can be an exciting and enjoyable experience only if you do proper research on the websites or retailers you purchase from. From performing basic checks, such as checking buyer’s reviewers, identifying information about the vendor, and checking for secured URLs, these measures can go a long way from preventing yourself from falling into the traps of online shopping fraud. With these strategies, you can ensure a hassle-free online shopping experience anytime and anywhere you want.